Study urges dental professionals to seek expert legal advice when facing fitness to practise concerns

The dentists’ regulator, the GDC, has today (Thursday, 17 February) urged dental professionals facing fitness to practise concerns to ensure they engage legal representation.

It spoke out as it published a cross-regulatory study into how the concept of seriousness is understood and applied by UK healthcare regulators in their fitness to practise work.

Mr Stephen Henderson, head of dental division at MDDUS, said: “Good preparation is key to achieving success and the earlier a dental professional obtains expert legal advice, the more time they will have to obtain appropriate defence evidence.

“If a dental professional’s fitness to practise is ever investigated by the GDC, for whatever reason, then being able to speak directly to a fellow dental professional to understand what to expect is crucial.

“Unlike generalist insurers and legal providers, our dental advisory team is made up of dento-legal advisers who are all qualified dentists and specialist lawyers.

“We talk to our members dentist-to-dentist to provide both legal advice and, crucially, empathetic personal and professional support.

“This wraparound service includes access to a mental health and wellbeing service, called YourHalo, that’s free and available 24/7.

“We know receiving notification of a complaint to the GDC can be a worrying and stressful experience - often more worrying than receiving a claim.

“That’s which is why we urge our members to contact us as soon as possible, before responding to the regulator, and why we tell all dentists that buying claims cover alone is a false – and dangerous – economy.

“MDDUS stands by our members through GDC investigations regardless of what has triggered that investigation. It is important for dental professionals to ensure they are adequately covered not only for claims but also for fitness to practise proceedings.”

ENDS

 For further information please contact Alison Hardie, head of public affairs and strategic communications, on ahardie@mddus.com or on 07501 421398

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